"What do you want?"

She could hear the smirk in his voice as he answered her. "No, dearie, the question is what you want. After all, I didn't call for this meeting."

Kagome turned with a frown on her face. "What do you mean?"

The man chuckled. Tensing, Kagome glared, annoyed at his demeaning attitude. "Why, your wishes brought me here."

"My…" The words died on her lips. She hadn't said it aloud. She hadn't said a single word aloud. "I didn't wish! I know better than that!"

The man's high pitched giggle set her on edge. "Oh, just because you didn't voice your desires doesn't mean that they weren't heard. The magic of this place is extraordinary. It almost rivals my own. Almost."

"What?" Kagome paled. This man – well, she thought he was a man – was more powerful thanthe demons that roamed these lands?

The man just giggled again. What was he? He skin almost looked… scaly. It glistened, and his eyes… She shuddered. They were flat and wild. Insane.

"What are you?" Her voice shook. "Please don't hurt me."

"Hurt you? Oh no, of course not." He seemed amused at her assumption. "What would that do for me? I'm here to make a deal."

She noticed that he ignored the first part of her question, but decided to overlook it for the fact that he said he wouldn't hurt her. "A deal?"

His eyes glittered. "Oh yes." The high pitch was gone from his voice. It only made him seem more dangerous. Kagome bit her bottom lip. "You want something, don't you? You want it oh so badly." His lips quirked. "I can give it to you, dearie."

A spark of hope flared in Kagome. "You can?" Her voice was barely a whisper, but he seemed to hear it anyway.

"Well, yes. But," He held up a finger, "For a price."

Now frowning, Kagome took a step back. "What kind of price?"

"Oh, nothing much. Just a bit of your blood."

"What for?"

"Oh just a little spell I am working on. I have never seen anyone so powerful who can travel worlds. Besides me anyway."

"What kind of spell?"

"Nothing that will affect you, I promise." She hated the look of his smile, but… he was right. She took a deep breath.

"Deal."

Without another word, the man held out a hand. Hesitating slightly – she didn't want to touch him! – she took it. It felt nothing like she'd imagined it would. It wasn't slimy or scaly. It felt like a normal hand. And he took a small knife out. "This will only hurt for a moment."

He took her blood and was gone the next. Then the man was gone, and she paused, a strange sense of wrongness filling her for a moment. Without another thought, she dismissed it. What would be wrong? It had always been this way. She was sure of it.